Nick Tandy said the FIA World Endurance Championship season finale at Bahrain was an “emotional” experience knowing that it was his last time working with Corvette Racing for the time being.
The Englishman will depart the Pratt Miller-run factory team for a new opportunity beginning next year, following a successful two year-stint.
Tandy and co-driver Tommy Milner took part in a full-season campaign in the WEC this year, highlighted by GTE-Pro class victory in the 6 Hours of Monza, and previously was part of the team’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign, also with the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
“Honestly it’s sad to talk about summing up the end of what’s happened the last two years,” said Tandy. “I’ve been lucky enough to be part of this team, which is something not a lot of drivers can say.
“I’ve been lucky to race this awesome race car in the two best sports car championships in the world. Not many people get to be in my position, so I feel very fortunate for that.
“Along the way I’ve made lifelong friends within the team. I’ve met so many enthusiastic and committed Corvette owners and fans who three years ago wouldn’t have talked to me, but now they’ve taken me on and treated me like one of their own.”
Tandy, who has been linked to a return to Porsche for its factory LMDh program, hasn’t ruled out one day returning to the GM fold.
“It’s farewell but maybe not goodbye,” he said. “We never know what the future holds.
“When I first joined the team, my plan wasn’t to finish in two years. Things within the sport changed and plans within the team had to change.
“Luckily I have somewhere else to go where I will still see all my friends in this team across the paddocks.
“It’s been an awesome two years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every day of work, which you can’t often say. There are good days and there are very long days, but even the long days with Corvette Racing are still filled with fun and excitement.
“Those race days and especially the days where we won are days I will hold forever. Thank you to Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, General Motors and especially each and every member of this team who has taken me in as one of their own.
“We’ve spent the last two years having a great time in professional sport together.”
He turned his final laps in the GTE-spec Corvette C8.R during Sunday’s WEC rookie test, to help dial in the car for newcomer Corvette Ben Keating and several Silver-rated drivers that are under evaluation for its move to GTE-Am.
It quickly turned into an emotional experience for the 38-year-old.
“I left the pit lane for my last run in the test and Tyler [Neff, race engineer] and Tim [Kavanagh, car chief] came on the radio and said ‘Right, these will be your last few laps,’” said Tandy.
“It hadn’t dawned on me that it would be the last time I’d drive the C8.R and in the GTE configuration.
“I left the pit lane and this struck me. At the end of the run, it was completely unexpected to see the whole team out in the pit lane with a great big signboard with a specially written slogan for me, which is quite funny!
“To see them waving all the flags just for me… it was pretty emotional.
“And we got red flagged for the enthusiasm of the team, which I didn’t know at the time!
“It’s an overwhelming and emotional thing. I’m just one member of a great big group of people who go racing together. It’s nice to see that people have appreciated my time here, and it’s sad we won’t be doing it again in January.”